Zero cases of COVID-19 during asymptomatic testing of students, staff and families at two Ottawa schools

OTTAWA — A COVID-19 testing blitz targeting two schools in Ottawa identified no new cases of novel coronavirus.

Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce told reporters that 300 students, teachers, staff and some family members at two Ottawa schools were recently tested as part of a program to test asymptomatic people for COVID-19.

“School-based testing has occurred the last two weekends in Ottawa, the outcomes of which have been encouraging,” said Ottawa Public Health in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

“There have not been new people testing positive for COVID-19 from these events.”

Two-hundred students, teachers, staff and some family members at Manordale Public School in Nepean were tested for COVID-19 last Sunday. A COVID-19 outbreak was declared at Manordale school in late November.

Public health says it’s working closely with Ottawa area school boards and the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce to implement school-based testing in schools where individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 and with a high number of close contacts who are recommended to seek testing.

“The goal of school-based testing is to facilitate access for these students and staff to get tested at or near their school,” said OPH.

Ottawa Public Health says it will continue to offer school-based testing when it’s of benefit to the school community and COVID-19 surveillance.

“While Ottawa has recently seen lowering or stabilizing COVID-19 indicators, OPH and its partners continue to seek opportunities to leverage current testing capacity and break chains of virus transmission, especially in priority settings in our community such as schools,” said OPH.

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